Week in review

Quote of the week

“Perhaps the greatest oxymoron is giving the Federal Reserve additional authority as a ‘systemic risk regulator,’ despite its demonstrated incompetence in preventing, predicting, or even recognizing systemic risk of its own creation over the past two decades, culminating in our current crisis.” – B.J. Lawson

National Health Care Is Making Me Sick

by Emily Matthews

“Every choice (whether to have private or socialized medicine) leads to other choices. So if what the media tells us is true, that ‘most people favor socialized medicine,’ then what they’re really saying is most people would rather be dead than bankrupt. Huh?” more…

Divided We Stand

by Paul Starobin

“Remember that classic Beatles riff of the 1960s: ‘You say you want a revolution?’ Imagine this instead: a devolution. Picture an America that is run not, as now, by a top-heavy Washington autocracy but, in freewheeling style, by an assemblage of largely autonomous regional republics reflecting the eclectic economic and cultural character of the society.” more…

The Coming of the Fourth American Republic

by James V. DeLong

“[I]t is not unusual for decadent political arrangements to blaze brightly before their end. Indeed, the total victory of the old arrangements may be crucial to bringing into being the forces that will overthrow it. In some ways, the grip of the aristocracy on 18th-century France tightened in the decades leading up to 1789, and the alliance-of-states idea could have lasted a while longer had the Confederacy not precipitated the crisis. So the utter triumph of the Special Interest State over the past 15 years, and particularly in the recent election, looks like the beginning of its end.” more…

Fascialism: The New American System

by Thomas J. DiLorenzo

“The two worst scourges of humanity in the twentieth century were socialism and fascism. Together, they wrecked much of the world economy because of their shared ‘fatal conceit’ (F.A. Hayek’s term) that government central planners were superior to private property and free markets. Fascist and socialist governments (not that there’s much difference between them) murdered over 100 million of their own citizens, as the sociologist R.J. Rummel has documented (See his book, Death by Government), and instigated wars that caused the deaths of millions more.

“Incredibly, the two-party duopoly that has long ruled America has adopted both fascism and socialism as the defining characteristics of our economic system. Call it Fascialism. It is a recipe for national economic suicide.” more…

In the news…

  • North Korea vows to weaponize its remaining plutonium.
  • Ahmadinejad’s questionable victory in the Iranian elections was greeted by protests.
  • Twitter/Facebook played a key role for Iranian protestors.
  • The US government has urged Twitter to postpone is scheduled downtime because of the role it is playing in the Iranian election protests.
  • Obama’s plan to aggrandize the power of the Federal Reserve could meet some resistance in Congress.
  • Summary of this weeks BRIC meeting. BRIC=(Brazil Russia India China). Learn that term well…
  • African entrepreneurs will launch weather balloons to provide broadband access.
  • The state sovereignty movement is getting some press in the LA Times.
  • Large parts of Flint, Michigan are undergoing planned demolition.

Videos

  • A recent history of the US economy

And now the numbers…

DOW Jones Industrials – 8,539.73 (-259.53/-2.95%)
S&P 500 – 921.23 (-24.98/-2.64%)
VIX – 27.99 (-0.16/-0.57%)
CSI 300 (China) – 3,080.001 (+173.715/5.98%)
BSE 500 (India) – 5,466.33 (-265.18/-4.63%)
MICEX (Russia) – 1,017.29 (-121.23/-10.65%)
BOVESPA (Brazil) – 51,373.77 (-2184.46/-4.08%)
RICI – 2,962.20 (-111.82/-3.64%)
Gold/oz – 936.20 (-4.50/-0.48%)
Silver/oz – 14.20 (-0.63/-4.25%)
Copper/lb – 226.15 (-12.15/-5.10%)
Oil/bbl (Brent) – 69.19 (-1.73/-2.44%)
Wheat/bu (CBT) – 555.25 (-29.50/-5.04%)
Corn/bu – 419.50 (-6.00/-1.41%)
EUR-USD – 1.3937 (-0.0079/-0.56%)
USD-JPY – 96.27 (-2.165/-2.20%)
USD-BRL – 1.9752 (+0.0492/2.55%)
3 Month Treasury – 0.17 (UNCHG)
2 Year Treasury – 1.20 (-0.06/-4.76%)
10 Year Treasury – 3.78 (-0.01/-0.26%)
30 Year Treasury – 4.50 (-0.14/-3.02%)
U.S. Public Debt (official) – 11,399,258,796,766.09 (+23,632,376,456.50/0.21%)
U.S. Public Debt (actual est.) – 61,496,285,000,000.00 (+59,375,000,000.00/0.10%)
Baltic Dry Index (BDIY:IND) – 4,070.00 (+487.00/13.59%)

Lots going on in the larger world. Too much to even pay attention to really. Hell, it’s hard enough to keep up with Obama’s never ending list of new initiatives. They come a million a minute, or so it seems.  He’s doing way too much way too fast as far as I’m concerned. The phrase “radical transformation” (for the worse) comes to mind.

I find the happenings in Iran very intersting and like so many others I am watching and hoping that the situation resolves itself to the benefit of the Mousavi supporters. That would be progress.

Have a nice weekend.

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  1. #1 by Mukund Rajamony on Saturday, June 20, 2009 - 23:06

    I am a bit confused with the article on socialized medicine. I tend to lean towards a national system of medical care because I do look at medicine more from a humanitarian perspective rather than a roaring business.

    When a doctor shells out more than a 100k to complete his medical education, he is bound to extract the maximum possible from his patients. It appears ridiculous that the extraction has gone to an extent that there are probably very few or no providers available in the market who can provide a zero copay for clinical visits! Additionally, what kind of an insurance system is one in which you have to subscribe but procedures won’t be covered for the first 6 months? What is my premium for 6 months for?

    After all the hefty premium being charged it takes 10 hours for a patient to be seen in the ER after being triaged! Ridiculous and worse, the nurse won’t even tell you what approximate time you may be called in. So if you are alone, there’s no food for you too!

    A single payer system (the government) is a good idea. The government is responsible for your treatment and will lose its mandate in the next elections when it doesn’t deliver its services appropriately. It is not so easy with a private insurance system.

    I read this page ( http://transgriot.blogspot.com/2009/06/10-busted-myths-about-canadian.html) after reading some data about Canada. Of course, it is all too confusing. But the doctor doesn’t have to pay a person to call insurance companies.

    “Socialized medicine” or “single-payer insurance” should eventually lead to a no-insurance system where everything should be available and affordable. Of course, the avaialbility in the countryside versus the city may still be a burning question.

    • #2 by kungfucraig on Sunday, June 21, 2009 - 08:59

      I have several arguments against national health care:

      1. It is unconstitutional. Practically this doesn’t really matter though because the Constitution is a dead letter, more or less.

      2. It’s immoral. In order to pay for this the state will be required to take in taxes from others. Simply, my right to the fruits of my labors trumps any supposed right you or anyone else has to health care.

      3. The Federal Government has a track record of ruining everything in which it gets involved. The skewls should be proof enough of that.

      4. The country is already bankrupt. We can not possibly pay for this.

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